1931 Anthony Newley, star of stage and screen, is born today. Newley will go on to be a legend in the theatre world by creating two new musicals. Stop the World--I Want to Get Off, a collaboration with Leslie Bricusse, opened in 1962 and was not only directed by Newley, but also featured him as a performer. Newley went on to work with Bricusse again in 1965 for The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd. Newley is also remembered for his performance as the inevitable Matthew Mugg in the movie, "Doctor Dolittle," starring Rex Harrison.
1953 Take a Giant Step, starring the young Louis Gossett, opens today at the Lyceum Theatre. The Playbill for the production states that young Gossett is a high school student in Brooklyn who aspires to be a pharmacist.
1958 The Gate Theatre on Second Avenue hosts the opening of a new play by James Forsythe, Heloise, tonight. Twenty-four year old Alan Arkin is in the production.
1974 A revival of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens tonight at the ANTA Theatre. The play has been updated since its 1956 Broadway production, now including profanity in the script. Elizabeth Ashley stars as Maggie. Her co-stars include Keir Dullea, Fred Gwynne and Kate Reid. Michael Kahn, now director of the drama division at the Juilliard School, directs. The revival will run 160 performances.
1998 The Savion Glover-George C. Wolfe production of Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk which opened April 25, 1996, celebrates its 1000th performance today. The tap-rap spectacle with book by Reg E. Gaines and music by Ann Duquesnay, Zane Mark and Daryl Waters will go on for 130 more to carve its niche into theatre history. --By Sam Maher and Ernio Hernandez